[802SEC] Ambiguity on Deferring action on a Working Group Motion
At the P&P ballot resolution meeting, we found that the text in 22.214.171.124 item 8 regarding deferral of action on a Working Group's motion is ambiguous. We felt we needed a wider discussion on what the text should mean before we could write acceptable text. Since this is rather long, I will put the text for my suggested resolution in second message so responders can focus on that.
126.96.36.199 item 8 in our current P&P
If the Executive Committee so modifies a Working Group's motion that the Working Group Chair believes the Working Group membership may no longer support the revised motion then the Working Group should be given the opportunity to reconsider what action it wishes to take and present it to the Executive Committee at the next Executive Committee meeting. This action can be accomplished by a Privileged Non-debatable "Request To Defer Action" made by the affected Working Group Chair which will automatically cause all action on the motion to be deferred until the end of the next regular Executive Committee meeting.
Some of the text (e.g. "Privileged Non-debatable "Request") seems to imply that this is describing a motion made by the Working Group Chair which needs an affirmative vote by the EC to take effect.
Some of the text (e.g. "the Working Group should be given the opportunity to reconsider..." and "will automaticallly cause all action on the motion to be deferred") seems to imply that this is describing a unilateral action that the Working Group Chair can make to withdraw the motion.
In the former case, this is describing a motion to postpone (i.e. a motion to table) by the Working Group Chair and a special rule isn't required. (A motion to postpone isn't privileged but the use of privileged here is incorrect; see below.) One could have a bit of informative text suggesting a motion to postpone but that seems entirely unnecessary to me.
In the latter case, the text should make the unilateral nature of the action clear. It was also pointed out that there is no definition of a "working group's motion". The text for this will be in the other email.
Background: A couple of us on the call believe that the latter is what was intended when the text was originally written. A specific concern that caused the text to be written was amendment of a PAR by the Executive Committee. We wanted to give the chair the ability to take the PAR back to the Working Group for action if the PAR was altered to the point that the Working Group chair was concerned that the Working Group might not be willing to pursue the work.
The use of "Privileged" here is incorrect in any case. In parlimentary procedure, a "privileged" only applies to motions that don't relate to the motion currently being cosidered but take precedence over it despite that. A motion about the current motion is therefore never a privileged motion - it doesn't need privilege.
P.S. This text is not relevant to the topic of 188.8.131.52 which is generally about limiting the length of EC meetings. It should be moved someplace else - perhaps with the voting rules.
This email is sent from the 802 Executive Committee email reflector. This list is maintained by Listserv.